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Choosing a Payment Technology Partner for Your Point of Sale (POS) Software

As a software business, you want to give your customers the added value of being able to process payments directly within your software interface. And you want them to do so in the most efficient, cost-effective and secure way.

But finding the right payment technology provider to partner with is no small task. With so many choices out there, it’s hard to know where to even begin.

For that reason, I’ve compiled a shortlist to help you get started. Be sure to ask about the following in your search:

PCI Compliance & Data Security Solutions Offered

This is a “must-have” no matter what type of software business you run. After all, we’re talking sensitive payment data. One data breach not only costs you money — it costs you your customers’ loyalty and your business’ reputation.

The payment technology partner you choose should protect your transactional data with the most advanced technology available:

First, look for Level One PCI certification. Level One is the highest standing of PCI compliance that carries the most stringent certification requirements to ensure your payment data is safe and secure.

Companies with Level One PCI certification go through regular audits — including network security scans and systems testing — to ensure they are complying with the PCI-DSS — the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

As a software provider, you can reduce or even eliminate your own PCI compliance requirements by working with a Level One PCI-compliant payment technology provider. When using solutions like credit card tokenization, payment data is passed and hosted on the payment technology provider’s secure, PCI-compliant computers. Sensitive data isn’t hosted or stored in the point of sale software which takes your software company out of PCI scope.

Make sure your payment technology provider also delivers a 3-prong security approach to provide the highest level of protection for both online and in-person payments. This is especially needed if your software includes point of sale and recurring membership and/or subscription-based payment processing capabilities.

1. EMV — reduces card fraud resulting from counterfeit, lost or stolen cards

2. Point-to-point encryption (P2PE) — encrypts data from the moment it enters the point of sale software

3. Tokenization — safely stores payment data needed for recurring payments by replacing the payment data with a unique identification code

Payment Gateway & Merchant Accounts

Your software customers will need a gateway account — a secure portal that transmits customer payment information to the payment processor for authorization and settlement. And they’ll need a merchant account (a separate bank account) regardless of payment processing methods — in-person or online — to take credit card and debit payments. That said, you’ll want to check if the payment technology provider offers gateway accounts or merchant accounts. Some offer both.

Typically payment technology providers will offer gateway accounts through a separate third party, and merchant accounts through yet another provider. Be sure to shop around and do your homework as there are plenty of things to consider when deciding on a gateway provider and where to get your merchant account. See this series of articles on payment gateways for tips on choosing a gateway and what to look for.

Software Integration Process

Of course you want to give your customers the convenience of being able to process payments directly in your software interface. But just what would integrating with a payment technology provider involve?

Be sure your payment technology provider has a comprehensive integration process in place so you can easily integrate your software application with their platform. Things to look for:

•  Software development kits (SDKs)
•  Application programming interfaces (APIs)
•  Solid integration documentation
•  A designated integration team that works with you from start to “go live”

In addition to the three sections above, you’ll want to ask about revenue sharing opportunities as they can typically generate a significant amount of additional income for your business.

If you have any questions about selecting a payment technology provider, or how Constellation Payments can assist you by delivering payment processing solutions integrated with your point of sale software, feel free to give us a call at 888.248.7060 or send an email to sales@csipay.com.

Angela Summa is the Vice President of Constellation Payments. She is responsible for business development, implementation, channel partner support, and merchant support. Her goal is to ensure businesses offer the highest level of payment processing security and ease of processing to customers. You can reach Angela by sending an email to asumma@csipay.com.

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